Making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:2-5
Quite recently, Albuquerque's 93-year-old Chester Nez passed away in his home.
If the name Chester Nez doesn't sound familiar, I can understand why. You see Nez's gift and his value were based on his ability to speak in a way which nobody could understand. Wait, scratch the word "nobody," and change it to read very, very few.
Perhaps a word of explanation is in order. Nez was one of the 29 original Navajo Code Talkers who were recruited in World War II. While the Japanese were able to crack almost every other code the U.S. Government used, they were unable to figure out Navajo. That language, unrelated to most others, was spoken by only a few people in the world. Chester Nez was one of them.
As a result, Code Talkers were able to speak openly to other Code Talkers. They could give warning about troop movements, battle conditions, and upcoming plans. By the end of the war, over 400 Code Talkers had been trained. Even so, the work of these men was so valuable their work remained classified until 1968.
To speak in a way which nobody understands can truly be a unique gift in times of war. On the other hand, it is downright detrimental if you are trying to save men's souls. Scripture says that God's ways are not ours, and His thoughts are not ours. Quite easily, the Lord could have made His plan of salvation so intensely complicated nobody would have been able to understand or believe.
But that is not what has happened.
In His infinite love and grace, the Lord spoke through Holy Spirit-inspired evangelists, prophets and apostles in a way humankind could comprehend.
As God wished, they pointed to the Messiah who had been promised to save sinners from the ravages of their disobedience. Then, in the fullness of time, God sent His Son into this world. During His lifetime, Jesus fulfilled the prophecies and kept the Laws of the Lord. Then, at the end of His life, He shouldered our sins, and after a series of unjust trials, He took those sins to the cross and, in His death, paid their price and wiped them away. Jesus' third-day resurrection from the dead gave a most visible confirmation that His sacrifice had been accepted. Now, because of that simple story, all who believe are forgiven and saved.
Because the Lord wished it, the salvation story is complete and can be shared in a way that is understandable, believable and effective in the saving of souls. Thanks be to God!
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, for speaking to me in a way my simple mind can comprehend, I give thanks. Now may others approach the simple message of salvation with a simple, childlike faith. In my Savior's Name I ask it. Amen.
All too often the job of reaching others is left to others. That can be unfortunate. After all, there are times when YOU may be the best person to reach someone who is lost or wandering. If you have always wanted to know how to do such a sharing of the Savior, you may want to attend Lutheran Hour Ministries' SENT Outreach Conference, which is July 24-27 in Detroit. For more information, visit www.lhm.org/conference.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries